Ray Harmon Memorial Roping 3/27/08 and Portrait

Written by Eclectic Horseman portrait of Ray Harmon by Jo-Anne Jackson

Ray Harmon Memorial Roping

There will be a Ray Harmon memorial ranch roping on March 27, in Benson, Arizona. The roping is open to everyone and will be held the day before Buck Brannaman’s ranch roping clinic. For more information please call Bob or Betty King at 866-771-7358.

This beautiful portrait of Ray Harmon will be sold for $200 each as a benefit for Ray’s wife Janet. The edition will be limited to 200 prints from artist Jo-Anne Jackson. She worked from a photograph by renown photographer Mark MacLeoud for this piece. If you are intersted in ordering please call 1-866-764-5569 or email info@mmgranch.net . Please make your money order out to “Janet Harmon.”

Mark MacLeod is a photographer of fine art as it pertains to the West. As a third generation Montanan, Mark feels blessed to live in a home state that offers a never ending source of inspiration and opportunity. Most of his work is stock/assignment which provides dramatic images that are available as original prints, posters and a variety of cards. Learn more about Mark on his website www.highlanderphoto.com or email him at mark@highlanderphoto.com.

From The Artist

“I met Ray Harmon at a Buck Brannaman clinic. I can’t exactly remember the time, but once I met him, I can’t remember not ever knowing him. If you were lucky enough to know Ray, you were just plain lucky enough. He was warm, kind, loving and mostly funny. I admired how he spoke of his wife Janet and their children and family. He told us how he came to be in their lives, and if you’ve heard of Ray’s past, you know that blessing went both ways! I have never been around another human that could tell a story like Ray. They were always about things he had done, and if you didn’t know him, you would think he was making it up. They were that hilarious and wild!

“My most fond memory of Ray was at a roping clinic in Ellensburg with Buck. Ray and I were on the ground working with a steer. All of a sudden, there was a rim-fire on the other side of the arena. If you’ve ever been in that situation on horseback or on the ground, it’s scary. All I remember is seeing the horse start bucking, heading straight towards us. The next thing I remember is Ray literally picking me up by the back of my shirt and putting me on the fence while he climbed up himself. What followed was a lot of language best left out of this piece and Ray yelling at people to watch out because there were ‘girls on the ground here!’ There was another trip to Nogales, Mexico with Ray, Roland, Kip, Shayne and Buck. Ray followed me into every store but did not shop. He was standing guard and told me he didn’t like the way I was being looked at. How could you not feel protected with Ray around?

“His family was generous enough to share him with us, and he spent quite a bit of time at our guest ranch in Montana. When he was there, it was my job to make sure he had all the lemon bars (he called them lemon drops) he could eat. I loved taking care of him.

“When I started his portrait he was alive, and I will have to live with the regret that I never finished his painting until he was gone. My art teacher stopped me one day. She looked me in the eye and said to me, ‘You love this man don’t you.’ I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ She said, ‘It shows in your work.’ That is what Ray did: he inspired people to live more, laugh more and love more. I miss him.”

Jo-Anne Jackson, McGinnis Meadows Ranch, Libby, Mont.

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